Legislative Update – May 26

The Joint Finance Committee rejected the governor’s proposal to cut tuition and instead opted for continuing the freeze for the next two years for in-state undergrads. … The committee did go along with a proposal to bring performance-based funding to UW, though in a significantly different way. … The committee supported providing $1.5 million annually to the proposed Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, which opponents are calling a far-right think tank.

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Legislative Update and Action Alerts – May 25

The Joint Finance Committee is sorting out whether to support the governor’s budget proposal for a 5 percent UW tuition cut or hold steady at a continuation of a tuition freeze. Meanwhile, Democrats are pressing the budget panel to restore UW funding and fund two years of free college education through the Fund the Freeze campaign. Other topics include referendum restrictions, guns in schools, military service & WRS, and Career and Technical Education Grants.

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Citizens overwhelmingly want their legislators to support public education

A recent Marquette University Law School poll showed a whopping 80 percent of Wisconsinites believe we should invest more money in public education. So as legislators address the education portion of the state budget in the coming weeks, it’s important to focus on what educators, parents and communities have repeatedly said they want: More funding for neighborhood public schools. It’s time for elected leaders to deliver, with a budget that restores funding for the majority of students, a budget that reigns in exploding private voucher spending, and a budget without last-minute surprises that have never before seen the light of day, much less a public hearing.

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NEA’s Eskelsen García says DeVos is ‘throwing students under the bus’

In testimony before Congress Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to say she would deny federal funding of private schools that discriminate against students. That, and other responses from DeVos to questioning by members of a House appropriations committee during a review of the Trump administration’s education budget proposal, prompted NEA President Lily Eskelsen García to tweet that DeVos was “throwing students under the bus.” Eskelsen García tweeted that DeVos is still unqualified and still using alternative facts. “We should invest in what makes schools great, the things that build curiosity and instill a love of learning,” she tweeted.

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Racine Education Association asks for audit of all standardized testing

The Racine Education Association is asking the school board to conduct an audit of testing in the district, including an inventory of all standardized tests, the purpose of the tests, time spent taking each test, and time spent on test preparation. “Beyond the social and emotional damage high-stakes standardized tests have on children, there is also a definite fiscal impact — whether it be the costs of the tests themselves, time lost on teaching and learning, use of technology, etc. — that should be considered as well,” said REA President Angelina Cruz.

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